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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIII - Page 20« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of James Robert Leavelle)

Mr. Leavelle.
after coffee and get downstairs or somewhere and tell them what you are going to do."
So, I went into the squad room (Captain Fritz had called) Lieutenant Wells, and told him not to let the officers out of the office because he wanted us when he got in there so I just walked out and motioned to Mr. Brown and Dhority and Mr. Beck and told them to follow me, and didn't say a word to anyone, and walked downstairs, and, of course, they are curious, and when I got downstairs I outlined the deal to them and told Beck and Brown to get the car--get the other car in the basement and have it in position to go out, and Dhority and I went up and got the prisoner and brought him down.
Mr. Hubert.
Brought him down the jail elevator?
Mr. Leavelle.
Down the jail elevator.
Mr. Hubert.
Were any newsmen down in the station?
Mr. Leavelle.
Beg your pardon?
Mr. Hubert.
Were there any newsmen down in the basement?
Mr. Leavelle.
In fact, when I walked out one of the newspapermen asked me when we were going to transfer Ruby and I said, "Oh, I don't know." And just like that, and walked on.
Mr. Hubert.
You had Ruby with you?
Mr. Leavelle.
You mean--oh, no; the officers and I walking down. When we brought Ruby down in the jail elevator, that elevator is never in view of the public. It is an inside elevator. Never in view of the public, so, anyway, after talking to the captain, I set my watch with his and said, "Be there at exactly 11:15."
So, he set his watch with mine and we brought Ruby down. That is the reason--I got down there about a minute and a half, 2 minutes early to the basement and told the lieutenant on duty, told everybody not to ring for the elevator that we would have it tied up, just held him in the elevator.
Mr. Hubert.
Kept Ruby in the elevator?
Mr. Leavelle.
Kept Ruby in the elevator. Mr. Brown standing outside of the jail office, Mr. Beck had his car, his motor running in the parking basement, and Mr. Brown was standing there talking to one of the men in the jail office just as though he was passing the time of day, and he was to give me the ned as soon as the captain's car pulled in on the ramp, which he did.
Mr. Hubert.
Which side did he pull in on?
Mr. Leavelle.
Just came off the Main Street ramp and parked across the opening and when he saw him pull in, gave me the high sign and we took Ruby and told him, I said, "I don't want to have to push you or shove you. I want you to move." Of course, Ruby was scared, so, he almost outran me to the car. He ran and got in the back seat of the car with Graves, who was already in the back seat, and Montgomery was driving and Mr. Beck, Dhority, and Brown got to the other car and followed us. We proceeded directly to the county jail.
Mr. Hubert.
Up Commerce?
Mr. Leavelle.
We went up Commerce to the expressway and cut back on the expressway to Main Street, and came down Main Street to Houston Street where the jail is located, and around the corner on Houston Street, to the entrance of the county jail.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you have any trouble with the traffic going down Main Street?
Mr. Leavelle.
We caught every light green going down. Didn't have to stop.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you have the sirens going?
Mr. Leavelle.
No, we did not. We drove through there at a good little step faster than normal, but so happened we caught every light. I don't think we even missed a light. When we reached the jail, the officers in the car behind us bailed out and covered the entrance to the jail, and we were had him inside in a matter of 20 seconds, from the time the car stopped.
Mr. Hubert.
All right, sir. Is there anything else you want to add about anything we have talked about?
Mr. Leavelle.
I can't think of anything else that would be pertinent to it.
Mr. Hubert.
All right. Thank you. One more thing on this. You have
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